The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Tomahawks

November 9, 2013

Tomahawks topple Jr. Blues

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Tomahawks continued their longest homestand of the season Friday night vs. the Springfield Jr. Blues.

It was “Faith and Family Night” at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena, and a total 3,391 fans made their way into the building to catch the action.

Everyone went home with smiles on their faces, as the Tomahawks won, 5-1.

“I was really happy. All week we prepared in a different way than we have (before). A lot more (being) physical, being hard on our bodies, because we wanted to treat every practice like it was a game,” said Johnstown coach Jason Spence.

Johnstown kicked off the scoring in the first period when Omar Mullan skated down the wing and fired a shot at Jr. Blue’s goaltender Stefanos Lekkas. Lekkas made the initial save, but after a scrum in front of the net, the puck slipped through Lekkas’s pads.

Assists went to Shane Bednard and Mitch Hall.

Near the end of the first period, Johnstown struck again. This time, a great pass by Tomahawks’ forward Josh Bowes hit a wide-open Matt Meier, who was standing at the top of the slot. He fired a shot, scoring, and giving the Tomahawks a 2-0 lead.

The extra assist when to Tommy Hall, his first career NAHL point.

Less than a minute into the second period, Johnstown got its third goal on a quick wrist shot from the high slot off the stick of Bednard put the Tomahawks up, 3-0. Assists went to Omar Mullan and Tevor Recktendwald.

Johnstown continued to work hard and use the body, which lead to another opportunity, this time on the power play.

After Springfield’s Brendan Jacques took a penalty for tripping, Bednard scored a power play goal, beating Lekkas the same way as previously.

That was the end of Lekkas, who was replaced by backup Sandro Aeschlimann.

The Tomahawks scored one more time when Reinholz deflected a shot from the point over Aeschlimann’s shoulder, making the game 5-0.

 “We were able to keep them (Springfield) on their heels all night long,” Spence said.

 Springfield broke Johnstown goaltender Alex Okicki’s shutout in the third period when Mike Severson was able to solve the Johnstown’s netminder by picking up a rebound in the crease and putting it in back of the net.

Johnstown outshot Springfield 30-21.

“Defense first, but when you have full possession in the offensive zone, then you can take more chances,” Spence said.

 It was the first time this season the Tomahawks have scored more than four goals in one game on home ice.

Matt Meier, was back in the lineup for Johnstown after sitting out the past few games with an injury, recorded a goal and an assist.

 “He’s a great player. Really smart. He didn’t get a (college) commitment for no reason. He came back and didn’t hold back one bit,” Spence said.

The game was the first for newly signed forward Cameron Smith. Though Smith didn’t have any points in the game, Spence liked what he saw from the youngster.

 “(He’s) really fast and quick. He’s played juniors with older people his whole life, so he’s a good player. Once he gets his confidence he’s going to be great,” Spence said.

Each team went 1 for 4 on the power play.

Johnstown and Springfield meet again tonight at the War Memorial arena. It’s Military Appreciation night, and the team will wear special jerseys that will be auctioned off at the end of the game.

Johnstown has a chance to sweep the weekend series and pick up all four points.

“We have to keep it simple and things will happen,” Spence said.

 

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